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High Court Orders EFCC to De-freeze Fayose’s Accounts

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  • High Court Orders EFCC to De-freeze Fayose’s Accounts

A federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti yesterday ordered the immediate de-freezing of two bank accounts operated by Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, for not following due process.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in June, this year ordered the bank to freeze the accounts following a Federal High Court, Lagos order that empowered it to do so.

The EFCC had allegedly traced part of N4.8b ammunition scam to Fayose’s account.Justice Taiwo Taiwo who gave the order while delivering a judgment in a suit filed by the Governor, through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said Fayose’s rights had been unconstitutionally infringed upon, considering the circumstances of his office.

He declared that, apart from the immunity, which Fayose enjoys as a sitting governor under section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as ammended, it was wrong for the EFCC to have gone ahead to seize the two accounts in apparent perpetuity without first investigating him or making him a party.
Justice Taiwo averred that rather than the EFCC freezing the governor’s accounts directly through the third party who did not enjoy any mandate from him, the governor himself ought to have been first investigated and brought into the picture.

He described Fayose as “a genuinely deprived person who rushed to the court to seek constitutional protection.”He said it was also the duty of any presiding judge to protect the said constitution and its interpretations whenever the need arises.

“The plaintiff is entitled to be heard before his property or money can be seized; doing otherwise will amount to denying him fair hearing and constitutional rights”, he said.

The judge, however, refused to grant other reliefs sought by the governor, including a perpetual injunction restraining the EFCC or its agents from further tampering with his property, and another one asking for payment of N5 billion as exemplary damages.

“This court will not shield any person from due investigation. Since the police cannot be stopped from investigating a crime, same goes for the first respondent so as not to whittle down its functions,” Taiwo said.

The EFCC lead counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, was absent at the court but Ozekhome described the judgment as the best to be so made against the EFCC in history, saying it would checkmate the agency against years of brazen arbitrariness and excesses.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Abdulaziz Yari, Former Governor of Zamfara State, to Forfeit N270 Million in Zenith, Polaris

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Abdulaziz Yari, Former Governor of Zamfara State, to Forfeit N270 Million in Zenith, Polaris

The former governor of Zamfara State, Mr. Abdulaziz Yari, could forfeit as much as N270 million stashed in Zenith Bank and Polaris Bank, according to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu said the former governor could not prove how he came about the money legitimately to the court on Tuesday.

Mr. Yari, 52, who served as governor of Zamfara State for eight years between 2011 and 2019, was said to have used his position to amass wealth, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) stated.

Since the court granted an order for interim forfeiture of Yari assets in August 219m he has been unable to explain why the money found in his bank accounts should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Justice Ijeoma explained that while there is nothing wrong in having such an amount in one’s bank account, the owner must be able to explain the legitimate source of such funds.

“The respondents, who have been given an opportunity to tell their story, have failed to provide evidence for such legitimate income.

“The respondents have not countered the case and facts presented by the applicants (ICPC).

“The respondents, having failed to establish the legitimate source of the money as stated in this case, this honourable court hereby makes an order of final forfeiture of the following:

“An order of final forfeiture of N12,912,848.68, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of final forfeiture of $57,056.75, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in an account number …in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of forfeiture of N11,159,674.17, being proceeds stashed in an account in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of $319,000.91, being proceed of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of N217,000.04, being proceeds of some unlawful activity allegedly stashed in the name of B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of $311,817.15, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of BT. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited,” the judge held.

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45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Launches ‘office Of The Former President’ In Florida

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45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Launches ‘office Of The Former President’ In Florida

The former President of the United States, Donald Trump, has launched the “Office of the Former President” in Florida in a move that suggests the 45th President of the world’s most powerful country remained resolute in his fight to return to office in the year 2024.

According to a statement released, the purpose of the office will be to oversee Trump’s post-presidential advocacy, ‘Make America Great Again’.

The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organising, and public activism,” an official statement said.

President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People,” the statement added.

The former president has not made any public appearances since he left office on January 20, 2021, instead remained inside his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort.

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President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

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President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.

The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.

According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.

The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.

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